Niclas Wallin was not a big name player during his time in Carolina, but he had a huge impact during his 9 years in with the Carolina Hurricanes.
In 2000, the Carolina Hurricanes used a 4th round pick, 97th overall, to draft a young Swede who went by the name of Niclas Wallin. Wallin would never become anything special in his time in Carolina.
He would never enter the Norris conversation, but he would make some big impacts when the stakes were at their highest. He was dangerous, but always under the radar. He was the secret weapon.
So where does this name come from? After all, in his first 4 NHL seasons, Wallin only had 8 goals. To find the origin of his nickname, we have to dive back to the ancient year of 2002 and the Molson miracle. Carolina had only been in the NHL for 5 years and was punching way above their weight with the Montreal Canadiens. After being down 3-0, Carolina tied it at 3 in the final period.
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Wallin would tally the overtime winner in the Molson Miracle. At this stage in his career, he had just 3 regular-season NHL goals, but he scored the game-winner in one of the tensest comebacks of all time. He had 3 regular-season goals in his NHL career, yet had put 2 playoff goals up in the 2002 playoffs. His ability to produce in the playoffs was already shining.
But one good post-season doesn’t create a legacy. So, there must have been more to the mystique and the aura of the secret weapon. For the next phase of understanding the secret weapon, we must look at 2005-06.
A great year for the Carolina Hurricanes, their players, coaches, management, and fans. Lord Stanley’s Cup came back where it belongs and that is Raleigh, North Carolina.
But to focus in more on Wallin, he recorded just 8 points throughout the course of the regular season. Yet in the playoffs, he had 1 goal and 5 assists. That 1 goal? Game 2 against New Jersey, overtime winner. He doesn’t score goals unless it is absolutely essential. What Nic Wallin did in back-to-the-wall situations is just flat-out incredible.
All in all, Wallin recorded 118 goals and 51 assists for 69 points in 517 regular-season games during his time with the Hurricanes. However, the secret weapon did get himself 3 playoff goals and 5 playoff assists during his 69 playoff games in Carolina.
Wallin wasn’t a big-name player. He wasn’t a big talent coming out of the draft. He wasn’t a superstar at any point during his career. However, Niclas Wallin game through when the Hurricanes needed him. The secret weapon never lets the team down.